Directors' Pick: Onir's Top Five Films of 2011
Filmmaker Onir (My Friend...Nikhil), who raised funds through social media for his powerful and poignant I Am, lists his top five Hindi movies of 2011. Take a look.
I Am Kalam
Director: Nila Madhab Panda
Cast: Harsh Mayar, Gulshan Grover, Pitobash
It isn't trying hard to tell a story -- it expresses whatever it has to say in a very simple manner.
Most children's films desperately try to sell a message but I Am Kalam works because it's not preachy -- its message comes across gently. There is nothing fancy here. Everything is very subtle and I must say the kid (Harsh Mayar) is brilliant.
Image: A scene from I Am Kalam. Inset: Onir
No One Killed Jessica
Director: Raj Kumar Gupta
Cast: Rani Mukerji, Vidya Balan
It's very rare to see a commercial Hindi film where women are protagonists and have strong roles.
No One Killed Jessica was a welcome change because of that every reason.
Its characterisation was perfect; it's good to see women who are not sisters or wives to someone -- but individuals in their own right. The performances are quite good.
Image: A scene from No One Killed Jessica
Director: Abhinay Deo
Cast: Imran Khan, Kunaal Roy Kapur, Vir Das, Poorna Jagannathan, Shenaz Treasurywala
The film is fresh, youthful and very today.
Right from its dialogue to the situations, everything is adult without being cheap or crass. The characters aren't indulging in dialoguebaazi. They are talking regular language that all of us use in our day to day routine.
I thought they are people like me, like those around me and that's why I connected with Delhi Belly.
Image: A scene from Delhi Belly
Shor in the City
Director: Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK
Cast: Tusshar, Sendhil Ramamurthy, Nikhil Dwivedi, Preeti Desai, Radhika Apte, Pitobash
I love the way it combines humour with petty crime. Good storytelling and the pacing is just right.
It has a small cast and that's why its characters look more believable.
Image: A scene from Shor in the City
Director: Kiran Rao
Cast: Prateik Babbar, Kriti Malhotra, Aamir Khan
Among other things, it's definitely an attempt at doing something different and experimental that makes Dhobi Ghat such a courageous film. There's a sense of quietness; almost as if one is viewing a painting. It's more like a collage of images.
That's the kind of treatment Kiran has given it.
There's a distance from which she looks at her story, at the same time she sees her material with a lot of love and warmth without being judgemental.
In a way, it's a love letter to Mumbai.
Image: A scene from Dhobi Ghat